Yesterday I learned that four new [technically more] games entered the Video Game Hall of Fame. Some of these frankly deserved to be there far before now, but the additions are Halo: Combat Evolved, Pokemon Red and Green [Blue], Donkey Kong, and Street Fighter II. Clearly not Street Fighter I, because who even remembers it? Only the most die hard, to be honest. No matter how I feel about one of these, I cannot deny that each of these titles turned their own respective franchises on their heads, and changed them forever. Without Halo, we wouldn’t have half the shooters we do now. Sure, there were shooters before Halo, but come on. None of those were truly open and wide with their maps or such a high-level of teamwork. Street Fighter II covers all the various iterations of SFII, which is great because there are eight billion of those. However, I didn’t play much Pokemon until later generations, because I didn’t have a Gameboy or Gameboy Color when they were popular. Mine came later, I’m afraid. Well, we did have a Gameboy, but no Pokemon. So I sat down and thought about what these mean to me.
Halo: Honestly, I’m not a big fan of Halo. Never have been. The story doesn’t grab me, I’m not really a shooter fan. Mostly because I’m mediocre [at best] at them. But I have so many friends that have fond nights of staying up all night with pizza and soda, shooting the crap out of each other, and out of other people online. That’s a wonderful idea, but one I didn’t truthfully experience. That’s another story for another day though.
Donkey Kong: I spent many quarters on this down by the beach. I rented it once too, for the NES. But down by the Boardwalk on Emerald Isle, they had two classic games I spent dollars on: Joust and Donkey Kong. Never did beat it… the joysticks for that game never seemed to be that good. Arcade games would never be the same again after it. The next few DK games weren’t so hot, but this would eventually lead to Donkey Kong Country. And that game made me smile when I needed it most.
Pokemon Red/Green: The nature of collecting all the Pokemon across two games, trading, catching exclusives, finding legendaries, doing battle with the various gym leaders. The developers found a way to take something they loved as a kid, that many people loved [catching bugs, hanging out with friends] and turn it into a competitive title that’s still played to this day with Pokemon Sun and Moon, a competitive video game league, card game, you name it. I may have come late to the party, but I’m glad I showed up. It was a new way to play an RPG that is emulated, but never duplicated.
Street Fighter II: Oh man, where do I even begin? I’m still casual as Hell in fighting games, but I do love them and follow them religiously. I watch tournaments, look into updates/changes, do what I can to see what’s hot, or what’s going to be top tier. I have very fond memories of playing SFII with Trevor, one of my friends back in Elementary School, staying up way past midnight, eating Fudge Rounds and drinking soda. Desperately trying to beat him and vice versa in a fantastic rendition of the arcade classic. I’ve played just about every Street Fighter since, and definitely all of the “II” iterations. Though Super II Turbo probably had the biggest effect on me, or “The New Challengers”, with the introduction of Cammy, Dee Jay, Fei Long and T. Hawk. We wouldn’t have E.V.O. without Street Fighter II’s success. Super Turbo still has tournaments all over the world, no less. I could go on about this all day…
What about you guys? You have any fond memories of any of these titles? Let me know below!